Firestone 600 red flagged for rain on Lap 71 for rain

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FORT WORTH – The Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway has been red flagged for rain on Lap 71 due to rain.

The race currently lists James Hinchcliffe as the leader ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mikhail Aleshin, Will Power and Ed Carpenter.

Carlos Munoz has led 37 laps after starting on the pole.

The race was under caution from Lap 43 to Lap 71 after a hard crash involving Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly.

Newgarden has been taken by air to Parkland Memorial Hospital for evaluation of his right shoulder and right hand.

The race was originally set to start Saturday night at 7:40 p.m. ET, but struggles to dry the track forced it to Sunday.

“It’s been a very frustrating weekend,” track president Eddie Gossage told CNBC. “When it stops raining, we’ll keep trying.”

A further update came from INDYCAR president of competition and operations, Jay Frye, to CNBC. Frye reiterated the desire to get the race at least to halfway tonight:

“Obviously we worked to where we were. The sky’s clearing and getting brighter. We’ll see what we can do for tonight.

“We fought the humidity last night. Today not as hot as humid. We’re not halfway yet so it’s not a complete race. Restart at some point, hopefully tonight.

“We need to make every attempt to get the race in tonight. We started at 5 p.m. last night. It’s not 5 p.m. yet. We’ll give it our best shot.

“There’s different thoughts. There’s four or five different scenarios. Hopefully, we’ll get it going tonight.”

Frye also said he thought the safety and car did what it supposed to do in Josef Newgarden’s earlier accident with Conor Daly.

“Safety is number one concern with our competitors. The car did what it was supposed to do. SAFER barriers did what they were supposed to do. He was alert, conscious, he appears to be in good shape.”

Check back for more.

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Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.